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Workshop at the National XR day
On July 5, Rathenau Institute’s researcher Stefan Roolvink and SURF’s Emerging Technology Advisor, John Walker met with a group of 11 other participants at the TU Delft Library. During the National XR Day, the workshop Exploring Responsible XR activated the imaginations and intrigue of participants to think about unfamiliar scenarios in education and research with XR virtual experiences.
Intriguing conversations and new questions
The contributors were first presented with the topic, Responsible XR and ethics as a practice to frame how these conversations are difficult but important to have. Contributors were then presented with scenarios of learners and educators dealing with the consequences of having XR technologies in the learning environment. The scenarios were not unrealistic (plausible), but unfamiliar. Both tables were full of bright and intriguing conversations regarding the options the educators had, new questions they might have and the lack of policy/advice/resources they had to answer the unfamiliar scenarios.
Exploring Responsible XR
Exploring Responsible XR lasted about 45 minutes and filled the room’s tables with stickie notes and new ideas. It allowed for a lot of faces from both education and research to meet at the same stage and present their thoughts on tangible, worrying scenarios that may not be too far in our future as XR technologies continue to become cheaper, wider spread and incentivized to use in certain domains.
Scenarios and discussions
The following scenarios and their summarized discussions are presented below.
Need for guidelines
Guidelines are needed for XR simulations in education, including risk evaluation and alternative options for access. There may be a balancing of learning efficiency with student well-being debated in the future.
Need for transparency
Based on discussions on recording and use of learner data; there is confusion over what is the due diligence by institutions of harvesting XR device data. There is a need for transparency and involvement of stakeholders in communicating how learner data can be understood in the context of XR in education.
Need for comforting
Based on discussions on addressing learners' experiences; there is a need for comforting students coming out of XR experiences. Perhaps as well preparation for before putting them in. There is a opening for policies on potential crimes in virtual reality simulations; such as sexual harassment or other behavior deemed hazardous or irresponsible.
Need for best practices
Concerns were raised about scaring students during XR simulations. If the goal is to scare the student, does it disrupt the learning process? Is it possible to make a best practices for 'scary' simulations in the future?
We continue to tackle new and exciting scenarios for the future of XR in education and research. The time is now to have these conversations and shape the kind of virtual experiences we want and need for educational and research institutions.
Responsible XR is continuing to gather information on the landscape and possibilities of facilitating the right conversations on XR technologies. Moving forward, we continue to drive for enabling our members and others to have these difficult conversations while forming a more comprehensive and shared vision of virtual experiences in educational and research domains.